Confrontation is never anybody’s idea of a good time. Conflict is an inevitability, no matter how much you try to run from it. It helps to assert yourself, set boundaries, and express your needs or frustrations. Learn how to do this using emotional intelligence; it just might be the one thing you haven’t tried yet that can help transform your life.
Role of Anger
Anger, in any form, is meant to communicate a message. It can also drive people away. What you really want is to connect and feel heard, but instead anger tends to have the opposite effect. Aggression in any form is the biggest impediment to emotionally intelligent conversation. Passive-aggressive communication is not any better, in fact, it may be worse. Whatever is being said may sound innocent, but it is the layers of what lies beneath that matter most. A hostile communication pattern will drive people away and make them respond negatively, rather than positively. To receive what you need, it helps to follow some healthy tips for communicating in an emotionally healthy way.
Communicate Without Anger
When you are angry, it feels good to express it. Aggressive and passive-aggressive behaviors will drive people further away. Here’s what to try instead:
- Tune in: if you are really in a huff, wait it out. Even if you are in a hurry, don’t send that email or voicemail. The brain gets hijacked when under stress and the emotional brain is working overtime. Cool your jets for a bit, breathe, and distract yourself for a bit before responding (if possible).
- Understand the emotion: decipher what you really feel. Maybe it is hurt or sadness. Maybe you are frustrated but the real situation is coming out as anger and aggression. Once you know what you really feel, you’re more likely to communicate effectively.
- Don’t misplace blame: it is easy to blame a person or situation for how we feel and assign blame. It will drive people away to do this, so instead, try to focus on yourself and less on the other person.
- Get curious. Focus on why you’re angry, sad, or feeling negative emotions. Maybe you forgot to consider the other person is having strong emotions, too. Become curious as to why the other person is behaving this way which will help you understand them better.
- Have compassion. When you make room for the other person’s point of view and ask ‘why,’ you invite communication and show respect. You want to create a safe space for the other person to feel heard and validated as much as you want to feel the same.
- Communicate with skill. Share your perspective with ‘I’ statements and talk about how you feel. Ask the other person to share thoughts and be curious, not accusatory. This will help open lines of communication which can bridge gaps when there’s conflict.
When we see communication as an invitation to be open, not shut down, we are more likely to get our needs met and feel heard. It can be hard when addiction is in the picture and it seems that is all that person is focused on. We are here to help guide your recovery. If you are struggling, let us support you and your family. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.